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Grade 4, 5, 6 Cohort

Our Grade 4 class this year consists of 26 students, 14 girls and 12 boys. Our Grade
5 class this year consists of 25 students, 15 girls and 10 boys. Our Grade 6 class this
year consists of 28 students, 14 girls and 14 boys.

They are a confident, talkative bunch who love to share their experiences, stories and
work with the rest of the class.

They enjoy engaging in class and group discussions.

They are a creative bunch who enjoy hands on activities.

This is a inquisitive bunch that enjoy asking questions and finding out the answers,
especially about themselves and their families.

They are great listeners who enjoy listening to what their classmates have to say and
finding out more about them.

They are technologically up-to-date and enjoy using the computers to research and
present their work.

They enjoy learning about history and past events.

They are a class that enjoy undertaking research tasks that require them to bring
things to and from home.

They enjoy using different forms of writing to display their work.



Whats my Story?




Bethany Decunto
Liana Decunto
Cassandra Fontana




9 weeks

We all have our own individual


What is my past/present/future?
What is my culture/background?

Our story makes us who we


How does my story define me?

Where did I come from?
Where does my story start? (eg. immigration)

How does my culture make me who I am? Does my

family still practice any cultural traditions/rituals? How
are they different to my peers?
How is my story different to those around me?

What experiences have made me who I am today?

Different people have different


Many factors affect our stories.

Experiences, Culture: Food and
Traditions, Family, Friends

Communication Skills

Young people begin

making choices about
what is important and
unimportant, what is
relevant and what is
Students use thinking
skills in a more flexible
and discretionary way.
They do this, in part,

Use a range of
communication forms (oral,
graphic, written, role play)
and digital technologies
They take turns, ask
clarifying questions,
paraphrase what has been
said to check meaning,
and build on the ideas of

Assess their
strengths and
challenges and
devise personally
strategies to
achieve future
They develop an

Students participate in a
range of classroom
activities where they
explore the similarities and
differences in the values
and beliefs of a range of
individuals and groups.
They begin to reflect on
what this may mean for
themselves when building

by involving
themselves in
extended projects with
a plan and an

They regularly present
ideas, information and
opinions for a variety of
purposes, to a range of
audiences, in both formal
and informal settings

attitude of
questioning, and
are able to provide
and receive peer
insights and
They begin to ask
questions about
why tasks are
relevant to their
future life goals.

and maintaining
relationships with a diverse
range of people.
They explore and discuss
behaviours which
demonstrate sensitivity to
cultural differences in their
interactions with others.
Students explore a range of
contexts, both within and
beyond school.


A3 suitcase outline worksheet

String and pegs for timeline
Shaun Tan, (2007), The arrival, Arthur A. Levine Books; First edition
Any non- fiction cultural books.
Cultural booklets
A3 human body outline
Computers and other ICT resources
Coloured paper (for the hands)
Shane DeRolf, (1997), The Crayon Box That Talked. Random House Children's

Lesson 1:
Whats in my suitcase?
Activity 1: The teacher brings in his/her suitcase and in that suitcase are some sentimental
items that represent who the teacher is, his/her story and what makes them who they are
today. The teacher then explains how these items signify his/her life story.
Examples of items include:
Pictures of family
A dog leash
A flag to represent his/her culture
Photos of his/her past experiences
Postcard from his/her favourite destination
Items from major events in his/her life eg: Childhood - favourite toy
something that belonged to someone important to them eg: Grandparent
Discuss and brainstorm with students a variety of items that could potentially represent who
they are. List these on the board.
Activity 2 (Pre-assessment): Provide students with an A3 worksheet with a picture of a
suitcase in which they have the opportunity to draw or list their own items that represent or
define who they are.
Students will then participate in a think, pair, share activity and discuss what they have
drawn and why they chose those particular items.
Lesson 2:

My timeline
Prior to the unit commencing, parents will receive a letter explaining the unit and asking
them, along with their child to collect photos of important events from their childs life from
birth until now. These photos may include them as babies, sacraments, holidays, first day of
school etc.
The teacher begins the lesson by bringing in a timeline of photos of his/her life and will
discuss with the students why these photos are important and what they represent. The
photos are displayed on a piece of long rope and are pegged to the rope in sequential
With the photos gathered by the students and their parents, the students will make a
timeline of the important events in their own life with rope and pegs. Students can then
demonstrate their ICT skills by typing a description of each individual photo and explaining
why it is an important event in the life. The students timelines will then be displayed in the

Lesson 3:
The teacher will begin the lesson by demonstrating in front of the class how to write an
autobiography on A3 paper. The students will then be informed that they will be producing
an autobiography about themselves. The class will then have a discussion about what the
students can include in their autobiography. The students will be asked to refer back to the
things that they saw/discussed in the previous two lessons. These ideas will be
brainstormed on the board.
For example:
Favorite places
Family life/siblings/parents/grandparents
Culture: favourite traditions and foods
Adjectives to describe you
Students will then create a descriptive and highly informative autobiography. They will
incorporate ideas from the previous two lessons, as well as additional information about
their lives.

Bring students together to brainstorm ideas of items that could potentially be put into their
suitcase. The teacher displays the childrens suitcase worksheets, in order to allow the
students to reflect back on and to revisit. After the students have completed their suitcases,
they can now participate within a think, pair, share activity to review and discuss what
items they have listed and drawn. The display should have a heading Whats My Story?.
Once the children have finished their photo timeline, they will have the opportunity to
present their three favourite photos/events to the class and discuss why these are their
favourite and what is happening in the picture. The teacher will then display the photo
timelines hanging across the room.
Students are given an opportunity to discuss and brainstorm ideas that can be included in
their autobiography. Once the autobiographies are complete, the students will be put into
groups and will share their autobiographies with their groups. There will be time for their

group members to ask questions and discuss what they thought was interesting about each
others autobiographies. The class will then come together and each student will share one
interesting fact about someone in their group that they did not previously know. The teacher
can then put the autobiographies on the Whats my story? display board.



How can we: Take students beyond what they already

know? Challenge their ideas, beliefs and attitudes? Enable
them to use skills and knowledge to collect new
information? Provide a range of experiences to develop
our understandings?

How will students sort out, organise, represent and

present what they have found out? How can they
communicate and express what they know? How
will they use preferred ways to demonstrate their
knowledge, skills and values?

Lesson 4:
Cultural booklet

Lesson 6 :
Biography of an immigrant

The class will begin with a discussion about

culture. They will discuss what culture is, what
they know about different cultures, how culture
can represent people or be of importance in
their lives, ect.

Ask the students to participate in a

Think, Pair, Share activity discussing
interesting points they gathered from the
Using the answers from the questions
that the students formulated prior to this
lesson, they will compose a biography of
the immigrant they interviewed,
analyzing, incorporating and organising
the best information they gathered.

The students are to research their own cultures

under the following topics, by using online and
non-fiction resources.

Where is my familys country of origin?

(located on a map
The flag
Traditional dress
Traditional dishes
Traditional dances
Unique traditions and rituals.

The students are to create a mini booklet to

display what information they have found. They
can present it however they like in this booklet,
using words and/or pictures.
(ACHHS083) (ACHHS102) (ACELT1608) (ACHHS101)

Students are given an opportunity to discuss
and brainstorm ideas on what they think culture
is and how it is represented within everyday life.
The teacher can then list these ideas and
concepts on the board. Students can reflect on
their own culture by researching significant
traditions, foods and languages etc. Once
students have completed their cultural booklets,
the teacher can place these books in the
reading corner of the classroom. Students can
read the booklets during their free time or during
silent reading, which enables them to reflect on
other students cultures.

In the biography, students will discuss

how immigration has changed their
families lives and how it has impacted on
the immigrant. Students can use a
technological device to type their
(ACHHK096) (ACHHK115) (ACELA1498)
(ACELY1694) (ACHHS106)

Students are given an opportunity to
participate in a Think, Pair, Share
activity to discuss any interesting facts or
ideas that they found out in their
After students have completed their
biographies, they gain some insight into
where they came from, who they are and
reflect on what they learnt about the
family member/friend.

Lesson 5:

Lesson 7:
We are one

Activity 1: Read to the students The arrival

Activity 1:
The teacher will begin by calling all
students to the floor and handing each
student a copy of the poem The crayon
box that talked.

The teacher will inform the students that

The arrival is a wordless picture book that will
require them to observe the images, formulate
ideas/questions and what they think is
happening in the story. The teacher will then go
through the book a second time, this time
allowing students to share their thoughts and
pose their questions about the book.
This activity will then lead into a class
discussion about immigration; What it means to
immigrate, why people might immigrate, why
people may have come to Australia, do they
know anyone who has immigrated, how people
migrated and the struggles they experienced,
Activity 2:
The students will be told of their homework task
which involves interviewing a person who has
migrated to Australia for example a
parent/grandparent/family friend.
The class will brainstorm together ideas of
questions that the students can ask. For
Where did you migrate from?
Why did you migrate to Australia?
What did you travel by?
What was the journey like?
During this lesson students are to create a set
of 10 or more questions to ask that person
during the interview about their immigration and
(ACHHS083) (ACHHK096) (ACHHK115) (ACHHS100)

The class will be brought back together, where
each student will be required to share a
question they have formulated. This way
students who were not able to formulate their 10
questions can be given ideas, and prompts for
more questions they can ask. This will also
allow the teacher to get an understanding of
how much the students understand about
immigration. It will also give her the opportunity
to help deepen students questions.


Poem by: Shane DeRolf

While walking into a toy store the day
before today
I overheard a crayon box with many
things to say
"I don't like Red!" said Yellow and
Green said "Nor do I"
"And no one here likes Orange but no
one knows just why"
"We are a box of crayons that doesn't
get along
Said Blue to all the others "Something
here is wrong"
Well, I bought that box of crayons and
took it home with me
And laid out all the colors so the crayons
all could see
They watched me as I colored with Red
and Blue and Green
And Black and White and Orange and
every color in between
They watched as Green became the
grass and Blue became the sky
The Yellow sun was shining bright on
White clouds drifting by
Colors changing as they touched
becoming something new
They watched me as I colored - they
watched me till I was through
And when I finally finished I began to
walk away
And as I did the crayon box had
something more to say
"I do like Red!" said Yellow and Green
said, "so do I"
And Blue you were terrific! So high up in
the sky
Wouldn't it be terrible? Wouldn't it be
If just one single color was the color that
we had?
If everything was purple? Or red? Or
blue? Or green?
If yellow, pink, or orange was all that
could seen?
Can you just imagine how dull our world
would be
If just one single color was all we got to

"We are a box of crayons each one of us

But when we get together the picture is
more complete".
The teacher will instruct the class to
close their eyes and visualise the poem
as she reads through it a first time. The
class will then, along with the teacher,
read through it a second time. They will
have a discussion about the meaning of
the poem, focusing on the fact that we
are all different but all human, who make
up the world and more specifically
Activity 2:
The class will then be instructed to
collect a sheet of their favourite coloured
paper (aiming for a variety of colours).
The students are to stencil around their
hand, write their name in the middle and
cut it out. Each hand will be passed
around the classroom for the other
students to write a quality about their
friend on the hand.
(ACELT1610). (ACELT1608)
The students will be given some time to
read what their peers have written about
them. They will be asked to consider
which one they think best describes
them and give the class a brief
explanation as to why they think that,
and possibly give an example of when
they have displayed that quality.
The hands will then be displayed on the
wall inside an outline of Australia, to
symbolise the discussion that took place
on the floor. Hopefully there will be a
variety of colours to represent the
different coloured crayons/students. The
students will be asked to share with the
class and teacher the links they can
make between the discussion, the
activity and the display.

How can we extend and broaden the unit? What other perspectives or dimensions can we explore? What are the
ways which students can negotiate their own personal inquiries?

Lesson 8:
My future self
Ask students to sit on the floor, with their eyes closed and to visualize themselves as a
grown person, in response to questions asked by the teacher. This will include scenarios
such as:

Imagine your life in 10 years from now, when you are grown up and out of school.
Now its morning and you have just woken up. What do you see?
You are now ready to leave for work. Where do you go?
What cultural traditions do I still follow?
What food do I now eat?
What type of person am I?
Do I have a family of my own? ect.

The students will then create a character profile about their future self. Students will be
given a piece of A3 poster paper of a human body outline, in which they will write their
aspirations, where they want to travel and their future profession. Students will then be
given the opportunity to decorate their future self, for example, dress their character in their
future professional clothing.
Once the students have completed decorating their future self they will each have the
opportunity to share this with the class and describe who they will be in the future. They will
answer questions other students may have and have the chance to share what their future
aspirations may be. The teacher will then display the students future self on the Whats my
Story board.
Lesson 9:
Family Day
Activity 1:
This is a time for the students to physically demonstrate who they are and learn about who
their fellow classmate are. The Family Day involves the students inviting their parents and
grandparents along. They dress in traditional clothing, bring in a plate of traditional food and
each tell stories of their culture, rituals and their past. They talk about how they became
who they are today and how the students identity has been formed from the events that
have taken place from years ago. Parents/Grandparents are given the opportunity to share
their story with the whole class if they wish to do so.
(ACELY1784d) (ACHHK096) (ACHHK115) (ACHHS083)
Activity 2 (Post-assessment):
Once the parents and grandparents have left the classroom, each student will be handed
back his/her A3 suitcase from Lesson 1. The students are to add any new words or pictures
they have gathered and learnt about themselves and their story throughout the unit. The
teacher will collect the suitcases as assessment.
Students are given the opportunity to reflect on their culture and the culture of other
students and their traditions. They will be able to understand that who we are is influenced
by our families and the lives of our ancestors. They will also learn that each of us has a
different story. The students will be given the opportunity to ask the presenters questions
and discuss similarities and differences between different families, stories and cultures.
Referring back and adding to the suitcase gives the students the opportunity to reflect on
what they have learnt about themselves over the entire unit.

AS and OF

What are the cumulative and summative

opportunities for assessment? How can
teachers and students monitor progress?
What strategies can we use to cater for
variance in learning styles and progress?
How can we allow for expected and
unexpected outcomes? How can we provide
opportunities for self, peer, teacher, parent




Lesson 1:
Whats in my

The teacher will walk around the

classroom and listen to students
discussions in the Think, Pair, Share
activity. During the discussion, the
teacher will determine if students are
stating why they chose that particular
item and why it represents who they
are as a person. The teacher can
assess how deep the students
thinking may be, for example is it
purely materialistic.

To identify sentimental
items that allows students
to define who they are.
Forms a sense of identity.

Lesson 2:
My timeline

To identify whether students are able

to put events in chronological order.
Able to clearly articulate why those
specific events are important to them.

Students are able to
specify why their chosen
photos are important and
why these events are
significant to them and their

Lesson 3:

Students can formulate a descriptive

piece of writing, including relevant
information that gives readers a
thorough understanding of who they

To develop a sound
understanding and a sense
of identity of who they are
as a person.

Lesson 4:
Cultural booklet

The teacher (by roaming the room

and analyzing the students booklets)
will identify whether students have
successfully used a range of
resources to gather relevant
information for their cultural booklets.

Allows the students to learn
more about their culture
and the cultures of their
peers. This also allows
students to understand
diversity and the similarities
and differences between
different people and
Assessing their research
skills and display of
appropriate information.

Lesson 5:

Whilst reading the book, the teacher

will assess the students knowledge
and understanding of immigration by
analysing the questions they pose
and responses they give during the
discussion. As well as the depth of
the questions they formulate. The
teacher will assess the structure of
the questions and whether they are

To understand what
immigration is.
To expand and deepen
students thoughts and
links between immigration
and their heritage.

Lesson 6:
Biography of an

The teacher will walk around listening

to the discussions students are
having and make sure the students
are discussing immigration, asking
relevant questions and discussing
interesting facts.
The teacher will then collect the

To learn about immigration
stories, the reasons behind
immigration, the
immigration experience,
why the immigrant chose
Australia and other

biographies and assess the students

on the relevance of information used
in the biography of the immigrant they
interviewed. The teacher will make
sure that the information included
reflects what has been discussed in
class and if the students have
developed a sound understanding of
immigration and all that is involved.

immigration related

Lesson 7:
We are one

The teacher will develop an

understanding of students
comprehension of the poem along
with their ideas and thoughts on the
subject of diversity.
Teachers will assess students
relationship and views of their fellow
peers by selecting appropriate

Students understand that
we are all diverse and have
different interests,
appearances and
characteristics, however
are one whole that make
up Australia.

Lesson 8:
My future self

The teacher will develop an

understanding of what students see
of themselves in the future and
what drives them to succeed in life.
The teacher will assess the students
creativity and artistic abilities whilst
decorating their future mini-me.

Develop an understanding
of goal setting and to
recognise and reflect on
strengths and future

Lesson 9:
Family Day

The teacher will walk around the

classroom, analyzing what students
are adding to their suitcases that they
completed in Lesson 1, to
demonstrate that they understand
that there is more to them and their
story than what they may have
originally thought.

To identify new knowledge
about their life story.
To identify a deeper
understanding of who they
To demonstrate what more
they have learnt about
themselves after having
inquired into their culture,
heritage, qualities, and

We found the Whats My Story inquiry unit to be quite successful as the students were
excited, engaged, stimulated and developed a sound, in depth understanding of the topic.
We felt the unit catered excellently to the interests and learning styles of the Grade 4, 5 and
6 cohort. The students thoroughly enjoyed the unit. They participated well in all activities
and were thoroughly engaged and enthusiastic about their learning. They were interested in
the unit and grasped a sound understanding about the topics covered. All learning goals
and outcomes were met by each student and we believe this is because the unit was so
well suited to the cohort. The students loved learning about their culture, background, and
family, and learning about how they became the person they are today. They loved sharing
stories and participating in class, group and paired discussions. Both the students and
teachers thoroughly enjoyed this unit, therefore would happily teach it again in future.

Group Participation
We took responsibility for the jobs we were given in week 5; Cassandra constructed a mind
map that was able to assist us in developing ideas/lessons for our unit of work, Bethany
compiled a description of students in years 4, 5 and 6, that we would base our inquiry lessons
on and Liana made sure that each of us were on task and were present at each meeting by
organising times that were convenient for each group member and ensuring that our inquiry
unit would be completed by the due date of the 17th of October.
We met on:
16/9/14 - 3:00pm - 4:00pm
23/9/14 - 2:00pm - 4:00pm
12/10/14 - 1:00pm - 5:00pm
14/10/14 - 10:30am - 2:30 pm
Using google docs, all three of us worked together in creating all nine lessons, their
reflections and assessment. We found working together on all aspects of the unit to be quite
successful as we were able to combine all of our ideas to create what we believe is a goodquality unit. Our main aim was for all the lessons to flow and we believe we have done this by
working together. We understand the task required us to split the unit up and for each of us to
formulate three lessons, however when we attempted completing the unit in this way we felt it
did not flow, nor was it a successful inquiry unit.